Why do we associate pancakes with Shrove Tuesday? Whether eating them or even racing with them, Shrove Tuesday has become inextricably linked with Pancakes, much like Easter with chocolate eggs.
Shrove Tuesday, this year falling on 16th February, is the day before Ash Wendesday, which itself is the first day of Lent.
Lent is a period associated with fasting and prayer, though in modern times it has become a time to ‘give up’ something.
Foods seen as rich and pleasurable, containing things like sugar, fat and eggs, were restricted during this time.
To save wasting those types of food over the following forty days, Shrove Tuesday would see a final day of feasting before the ritual fasting, combining all the frowned-upon ingredients into a tasty dish. For this reason, the day is also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’.
Shrove Tuesday is on 16th February this year, and there are many ways to get the whole family involved. It can be a lovely family event. Take time and involve the children in a shopping trip, firstly to carefully write a list together and then let them select the ingredients for the pancakes at the shop. Back at home, toddlers can help weigh out ingredients, crack the eggs and stir the batter. Let your school-age children impress the family with their knowledge of Lent.
Set a pretty table and lay out an array of pancake toppings so everyone can help themselves and invent unusual combinations. If you find you are usually stuck in the kitchen tossing pancakes whilst everyone else is tucking in, try cooking in batches. Keep the pancakes warm in an oven at about 200°, (preferably in a single layer on a baking sheet wrapped in a tea towel to prevent them drying out) until ready to eat, so all the family can eat together.
Shopping List to make about 8 Pancakes:
• 220g/8oz plain flour • pinch salt • 2 eggs
• 1 pint of milk
• 50g/2oz butter
Melt the butter in the microwave using 10 second bursts so that the butter doesn’t burn and is just melted.
Add the melted butter to the milk and add in whisked eggs. Combine the wet ingredients a little at a time into the flour and salt mix.
Once the batter is smooth, let the mixture sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Cook each pancake in a lightly oiled pan on medium high heat. Flip them when the top of the pancake starts to dry and is not runny. Sprinkle when hot with sugar and lemon to serve!
Top Tip: When flipping pancakes have a broom handy for poking them off the ceiling and sweeping them off the floor.